Japan’s constitution is called Nihon Koku Kenpou [日本國憲法] and was promulgated on November 3, 1946 and applied on May 3, 1947. In this We will see all articles and information about the constitution of Japan.
The constitution guarantees a parliamentary system of government and guarantees fundamental rights. Under this constitution, the Emperor is the symbol of the state and the union of the people, and exerts a purely ceremonial power, without the possession of sovereignty.
Japan’s constitution, also called the Pacifist Constitution (平和憲法, Heiwa-Kenpō), she is famous for the waiver of the right to declare war present in the occupation induced by the United States after World War II.
The Preamble to the Constitution of Japan
We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet,
we determine the guarantee for ourselves and our posterity, the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of freedom throughout this land, and we resolve never to be visited by horrors of war through government action; we proclaim that sovereign power resides in the people and we firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred duty of the people, its authority derives from the people, its powers are exercised by the representatives of the people, and its benefits are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of humanity on which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances and edicts that contradict it.
We, the Japanese people, desire eternal peace and are deeply aware of the high ideals that move relations between men, we are determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We wish to occupy a place of honor in an international society that strives for the preservation of peace, for the extinction of tyranny and slavery, of oppression and intolerance of the Earth at all times. We recognize that all the peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and need. We believe that no nation is responsible for itself, but that the laws of political morality are universal, and that obedience to these laws rests with all nations that uphold their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.
We, the Japanese people, honor our national commitment to achieve these high ideals and purposes with all of our resources.
I. The Emperor - Articles 1 to 8
Article 1. The Emperor must be the symbol of the State and the unity of his people, deriving his position from the will of the people in which the sovereignty of power resides.
Article 2. The imperial throne must be dynastic and its succession will be in accordance with the Law of the Imperial House approved by the Diet.
Article 3. Cabinet advice and approval must be required in all actions of the emperor on matters of state, and the cabinet must be responsible for them.
Article 4. The emperor must perform only the acts of matter of the State as foreseen in the Constitution and he must not have powers related to the government.
The emperor must delegate the execution of his acts in matters of State as provided by law.
Article 5. When, in accordance with the Law of the Imperial House, a Regency is established, the Regent must perform his acts in matters of State on behalf of the Emperor. In this case, paragraph one of the Previous article will be applied.
Article 6. The emperor must appoint the prime minister as appointed by the Diet.
The emperor is to appoint the presiding minister of the Supreme Court as appointed by the cabinet.
Article 7. The emperor, under the advice and approval of the cabinet, must carry out the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people:
- Enactment of constitutional amendments, laws, cabinet orders and treaties;
- Call for the Diet;
- Dissolution of the House of Representatives;
- Proclamation of general elections for members of the Diet;
- Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officers as established by law, the appointment and accreditation of ambassadors and ministers;
- Attestation of the general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, extension and restoration of rights;
- Award of honors;
- Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as established by law;
- Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers;
- Execution of ceremonial functions;
Article 8. No property may be granted or received from Casa Imperial nor gifts may be exchanged without authorization from the Diet.
II. Waiving the War - Article 9
Article 9. Sincerely aspiring to world peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce the use of war as the sovereign right of the nation or the threat and use of force as a means of resolving international disputes.
In order to fulfill the objective of the previous paragraph, the army forces, marine and aeronautics, like any other potential war force, will never be maintained. The State's right to belligerence will not be recognized.
III. People's Rights and Duties – Articles 10 to 40
Article 10. The conditions required to be a Japanese citizen must be determined by law.
Article 11. The people will not be deprived of enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights are guaranteed to the people through this Constitution and should be made available to this generation and future generations as eternal and inviolable rights.
Article 12. The rights and freedoms guaranteed to the people through this Constitution must be maintained by the constant effort of the people, who must refute any abuse of freedom and rights, and will always be responsible for using them for the common public welfare.
Article 13. All people must be respected as individuals. The right to life, freedom, the search for happiness, as long as it does not interfere with the common public well-being, will be of paramount consideration in legislation and other governmental bodies.
Article 14. All people are equal before the law and there should be no discrimination in political, economic and social relations because of race, creed, gender, social position or family origin.
Nobles and nobility will not be recognized.
No privileges, honorary honors or distinctions shall be awarded to individuals who have held this status during their lives.
Article 15. The people have an inalienable right to choose their public representatives and also to dismiss them.
All public representatives are servants of the entire community and no other specific group.
Adult and universal suffrage is guaranteed in the election of public representatives.
In all elections, voting secrecy will not be violated. A voter should not be questioned publicly or privately for his or her choice.
Article 16. All persons shall have the right to a peaceful petition for the repair of damages, a petition for the removal of public servants, the promulgation and revocation of amendments to laws, ordinances or regulations and for other matters; no person should be discriminated against for supporting any petition.
Article 17. All persons may request redress according to the law of the State or public entity, in case they have suffered damage due to the illegal act of any public servant.
Article 18. No person shall be held in any form of captivity. Involuntary service, except as a punishment for crimes, is prohibited.
Article 19. Freedom of thought and conscience should not be violated.
Article 20. Religious freedom is guaranteed to everyone. No religious organization should receive any privileges from the State or exercise any political authority.
No person shall be obliged to participate in any religious act, celebration, ritual or practice.
The State and its organs must abstain from any religious education or religious activity.
Article 21. Freedom of assembly, association and speech, the press and other forms of expression are guaranteed.
No censorship should be maintained and freedom of communication cannot be violated.
Article 22. Each person should be free to choose and change residence and choose their occupation as long as it does not interfere with public well-being.
The freedom of all people to move to another country and nationality will not be violated.
Article 23. Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Article 24. The marriage it must be based only on the consensual union of both sexes and must be maintained in common agreement and with equal rights between men and women.
Regarding the choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, home choice, divorce and other matters concerning marriage and the family, laws should be enacted from the point of view of individual dignity and the essential equity of genders.
Article 25. Everyone should have the right to maintain a minimum standard of health and cultural well-being.
In all spheres of life, the State must make efforts to promote and extend social life, security and public health.
Article 26. All persons shall have the right to receive an equal and corresponding education with their ability, as provided by law.
All persons shall provide education to boys and girls under their protection without distinction as provided by law. Such compulsory education should be free of charge.
Article 27. Everyone must have the right and the obligation to work.
The standard of wages, hours, rest and other working conditions shall be determined by law.
Children should not be exploited.
Article 28. The right of workers to organize and bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.
Article 29. The right to own or acquire property is inviolable.
Property rights must be defined by law in accordance with public welfare.
Private property can be used by the government as long as there is fair compensation.
Article 30. Persons will be subject to the payment of fees as provided by law.
Article 31. No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor of any person criminal penalty shall be imposed, except in accordance with the procedures established by law.
Article 32. No person will be prevented from having access to trial.
Article 33. No person shall be arrested except by a warrant issued by a bailiff who specifies the offense that the person is accused of, unless he is arrested while the offense is being committed.
Article 34. No person shall be arrested or detained without having been previously informed of the crimes for which he is being accused or without the right to be tried; nor will he be arrested without proper cause; and at the request of any person, such charge shall be immediately brought before the court or council.
Article 35. The right of all people to be safe in their homes will not be violated, except through a mandate issued for justified cause and which specifically describes the place and objects to be seized, or as provided for in Article 33.
Each search or seizure must be carried out under a separate mandate issued by the competent judicial authority.
Article 36. Punishment with torture by any public official or cruel treatment is absolutely prohibited.
Article 37. In all criminal cases, the accused shall enjoy the right to a public trial that is speedily established and composed of an impartial tribunal.
The accused will be granted the right to examine all witnesses and will have the right to a compulsory process of obtaining witnesses in his defense and paid for by the government.
At all times, the accused must have the assistance of a competent council which should, if the accused is unable to guarantee it due to his conditions, be assigned to the State.
Article 38. No person should be compelled to take evidence against himself.
Confessions made under duress, torture or threat, or after prolonged imprisonment or detention will not be accepted as evidence.
No person will be convicted or punished in cases where the only evidence against him is his own confession.
Article 39. No person can be held criminally liable for an act that was legal at the time it was committed, or that it was acquitted, nor should he be subjected to a second sentence.
Article 40. Any person, if he has been acquitted after being arrested or detained, can sue the State with a request for redress under the law.
IV. The diet - Articles 41 to 64
Article 41. The Diet will be the highest body of power of the State, and will be the only legislative body of the State.
Article 42. The Diet will consist of two Houses, called the House of Representatives and the House of Counselors.
Article 43. Both Houses must consist of elected members and representatives of the people.
The number of members of each House must be fixed by law.
Article 44. The qualifications of the members of both Houses and their voters must be determined by law. However, there will be no discrimination due to race, creed, gender, social status, family origin, education, heritage or income.
Article 45. The term of office of the members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the mandate will be terminated ahead of schedule if the House of Representatives is dissolved.
Article 46. The term of office of the members of the Casa dos Conselheiros should be six years, and a new election for half of the vacancies should happen every three years.
Article 47. Electoral districts, the method of voting and other matters concerning the voting method of the members of both Houses shall be determined by law.
Article 48. No person may be a member of the two Houses simultaneously
Article 49. Members of both Houses must receive the annual payment from the National Treasury in accordance with the law.
Article 50. Except in cases provided by law, members of both Houses may not be arrested while the Diet is in session, and any member arrested before the start of the session must be released during the session and will be on demand from the House.
Article 51. Members of both Houses should not be held responsible outside the House for speeches, debates or votes held within the House.
Article 52. An ordinary session of the Diet will be convened once a year.
Article 53. The cabinet may decide to convene extraordinary sessions of the Diet. When a quarter or more of the total number of members from both Houses made the requisition, the cabinet shall determine the summons.
Article 54. When the House of Representatives is dissolved, a general election of members of the House of Representatives must take place within a maximum of forty days from the date of the dissolution, and the Diet must be convened within thirty days from the date of the election.
When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Counselors will be closed immediately. However, the cabinet may, in the event of a national emergency, call the Casa dos Conselheiros to an emergency session.
The measures taken in such session, as mentioned in the clause of the previous paragraph, shall be provisional and shall become null and void unless legally approved by the House of Representatives within a period of up to ten days after the opening of the next session of the Diet .
Article 55. Each House must judge cases related to its members. However, in order to deny privilege to any member, approval by two thirds or more of the members present is required.
Article 56. Business matters may not be dealt with in any of the Houses, unless one third or more of the total members are present.
All matters must be decided in each House by the majority of those present, except when there is support in the Constitution and, in the event of a tie, the chairman of the session will decide the issue.
Article 57. The deliberation in each House must be public. However, a secret meeting may take place when more than two thirds of the members present approve the resolution.
Each House must keep a record of procedures. This record should be published and distributed for general circulation, except when there are confidential meeting procedures, which require confidentiality.
Upon the demand of a fifth or more of the members present, the votes of members on any matter will be recorded in minutes.
Article 58. Each House must choose its own members and presidents.
Each House must establish its internal regulations regarding meetings, procedures and internal discipline, and may punish members for misconduct. However, for a member to be excluded, it is necessary that two thirds or more of the members present approve the resolution.
Article 59. A bill becomes law after approval by both Houses, except as provided for in the Constitution.
A bill that has been approved at the House of Representatives and rejected at the House of Counselors will become law after being passed a second time at the House of Representatives by more than two-thirds of the members present.
The provision of the previous paragraph does not prevent the House of Representatives from calling a joint meeting of the committee of both Houses, in accordance with the law.
The bill that is not tried at the Casa dos Conselheiros sixty days after being approved by the House of Representatives, including the recess period, will be considered as rejected by the Casa dos Conselheiros.
Article 60. The budget must first be submitted to the House of Representatives.
With respect to the budget, when the House of Counselors takes a decision contrary to that of the House of Representatives, and when there is no agreement even after the meeting of the committee of both Houses, provided by law, or when the House of Counselors does not judge the budget in a period of thirty days, including the period of recess, the decision of the House of Representatives will be taken as the decision of the Diet.
Article 61. The second paragraph of the Previous article also applies to cases in which the Diet requires approval of the conclusion of treaties.
Article 62. Each House may conduct investigations related to the government, and may also demand the testimony of witnesses and the production of recordings.
Article 63. The prime minister and the other ministers of state may, at any time, appear in any of the Houses for the purpose of speaking about the bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not. They must also appear for the purpose of answering questions or giving explanations.
Article 64. The Diet must establish an impeachment tribunal between the members of both Houses for the purpose of judging those being questioned.
Impeachment-related matters must be provided for by law.
V. The Office - Articles 65 to 75
Article 65. Executive power will be vested in the cabinet.
Article 66. The cabinet should consist of the prime minister, who will be its leader, and the other ministers of state, as provided by law.
The prime minister and the other ministers of state must be civilian citizens.
The cabinet, in the exercise of executive power, should be collectively responsible for the Diet.
Article 67. The Prime Minister must be appointed from among the members of the Diet and by a resolution of the Diet. This designation must precede all other matters.
If the House of Representatives and the House of Counselors do not reach an agreement and if there is no agreement even after a committee meeting between both Houses as provided by law, or the House of Counselors does not judge the matter within a maximum of ten days, including the recess period, after the designation made by the House of Representatives, the decision of the House of Representatives should be the decision of the Diet.
Article 68. The prime minister is expected to appoint the ministers of state. However, most of them should be chosen from among the members of the Diet.
The prime minister may remove the ministers of state according to his decision.
Article 69. If the House of Representatives passes a resolution of non-trust or rejects a resolution of trust, the cabinet must resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within a maximum of ten days.
Article 70. When there is a vacancy in the post of prime minister, or upon the first call of the Diet after a general election of the members of the House of Representatives, the cabinet must resign en masse.
Article 71. In the cases mentioned in the two previous articles, the cabinet must continue its functions until the period in which the prime minister is chosen.
Article 72. The prime minister, representing the cabinet, submits the bills, reports general matters of national interest and foreign relations to the Diet, and exercises supervisory control over various administrative branches.
Article 73. The office, in addition to its administrative functions, must perform the following functions:
- Faithfully administer the law; conduct State affairs;
- Manage foreign affairs matters;
- Conclude treaties. However, you must obtain, depending on the circumstances, the first or subsequent approval of the Diet.
- Administer the civil service, according to the standards established by law;
- Prepare the budget and submit it to the Diet;
- Decree cabinet orders for the purpose of executing the provisions of the Constitution and the law. However, you will not be able to include criminal provisions in the cabinet if they are not provided for by this law;
- Decide on amnesty in general, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, postponement and restoration of rights;
Article 74. All laws and orders of the cabinet must be signed by a competent Minister of State and signed by the Prime Minister as well.
Article 75. The ministers of state, during the exercise of their positions, will not be subject to legal actions without the consent of the prime minister. However, the right to take this action will not be prevented by this means.
SAW. The Judiciary - Articles 76 to 82
Article 76. The entire judiciary is vested in the Supreme Court and lower courts as established by law.
No extraordinary court should be established, nor should any other executive body or agency have final judicial power.
All judges must be independent in the exercise of their conscience and must be bound only by the Constitution and the laws.
Article 77. The Supreme Court is vested with the legislative power under which it determines the rules of procedures and practices, matters related to the practice of law, the internal discipline of the courts and the administration of judicial matters.
Public prosecutors must be submitted to the Supreme Court’s legislative power.
The Supreme Court can delegate the power to legislate to lower courts.
Article 78. Judges should not be removed from office except through public impeachment or if they are legally declared to have physical or mental problems that prevent them from exercising their official functions.
No disciplinary action against judges should be administered by any executive body or agency.
Article 79. The Supreme Court shall consist of a presiding judge and a number of other judges as determined by law; all such judges, except the presiding judge, must be appointed by the cabinet.
The appointment of Supreme Court judges must be approved by the people through a general election held by the members of the House of Representatives shortly after the nomination, and another must take place in the first election of the members of the House of Representatives after ten years and so on. .
In the cases mentioned in the previous paragraph, when the majority of votes are for the removal of a judge, then he must be dismissed.
Election matters must be prescribed by law.
Supreme Court judges are expected to retire after reaching the age set by law.
All of these judges should receive, at regular intervals, adequate compensation that should not be reduced while in office.
Article 80. Lower court judges must be appointed by the cabinet from a list of persons appointed by the Supreme Court. All judges must exercise their positions for a period of ten years with the right to extend their position, provided they are retired after reaching the age determined by law.
Judges at lower courts should receive, at regular intervals, adequate compensation that should not be reduced while exercising their mandate.
Article 81. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with the power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act.
Article 82. When a court unanimously determines that a matter is a violation of public order, the trial may be in secret, but cases of political offense, offenses involving the press, or cases where the rights of individuals, as guaranteed by Chapter III of this Constitution , are in question, so these cases should be tried publicly.
VII. Finance - Articles 83 to 91
Article 83. The power to manage national finances must be exercised as determined by the Diet.
Article 84. No new fees shall be imposed or changed except by law or under such conditions as prescribed by law.
Article 85. No money should be spent, nor can the State commit itself, except with the authorization of the Diet.
Article 86. The cabinet must prepare and submit the budget to the Diet for its consideration and final decision each fiscal year.
Article 87. In order to prevent unforeseen budget shortfalls, a reserve fund must be authorized by the Diet to be used under the responsibility of the office.
The cabinet must obtain subsequent approval from the Diet to make any payments to the reserve fund.
Article 88. All assets of Casa Imperial will belong to the State. All Casa Imperial expenses must be included in the annual budget approved by the Diet.
Article 89. No public property or funds should be spent or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association, or any charitable or educational institution that is not under the control of public authority.
Article 90. The State's expenditure and revenue report must be audited annually by the Audit Board and submitted by the office to the Diet, together with an audit statement, during the immediate fiscal year following the period covered.
The organization and competence of the Audit Board must be determined by law.
Article 91. At regular intervals, and at least annually, the cabinet must report to the Diet and the officials in charge of national finance.
VIII. Local Government - Articles 92 to 95
Article 92. The regulations concerning the organization and operations of local public entities must be fixed by law in accordance with the principle of local autonomy.
Article 93. Local public entities must establish assemblies as their deliberative bodies, in accordance with the law.
The chief executives of local public entities, the members of their assemblies, and all other officers provided for by law, must be elected by popular vote in their respective communities.
Article 94. Local public authorities should have the right to govern their assets, administer and enact their own regulations in accordance with the law.
Article 95. A special law, applicable only to a single public entity, cannot be approved by the Diet without the consent of the majority of votes of the local public entity in question, and in accordance with the law.
IX. Amendments - Article 96
Article 96. Constitutional amendments must be proposed by the Diet, through the approval of more than two thirds of the members of each House and, subsequently, be submitted to ratification, which requires the majority of all votes in a referendum or in an election to be convened by the Diet.
Amendments, when ratified, must be immediately promulgated by the Emperor and on behalf of the people, as an integral part of the Constitution.
X. Supreme Law - Articles 97 to 99
Article 97. The fundamental human rights of this Constitution were guaranteed to the Japanese people as a result of the old human effort for freedom; these rights survived countless tests that demanded durability and were conferred on this and future generations, with the confidence of being kept forever inviolable.
Article 98. This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the nation, and no law, order, imperial statute or any other governmental act that is contrary to it shall have validity or legal force.
The treaties concluded by Japan and the established laws of the nations must be faithfully observed.
Article 99. The Emperor or the Regent, as well as the Ministers of State, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public servants have an obligation to respect and support this Constitution.
XI. Additional Provisions - Articles 100 to 103
Article 100. This Constitution must be applied after six months have elapsed from the date of its promulgation.
The amendments to laws necessary for the application of this Constitution, the election of the members of the House of Counselors and the procedure for calling the Diet and other preparatory procedures for the application of this Constitution must be carried out before the date prescribed in the previous paragraph.
Article 101. If the House of Counselors is not constituted before the effective date of this Constitution, the House of Representatives shall function as the Diet until such time as the House of Counselors is constituted.
Article 102. The term of office of half of the members of the Casa dos Conselheiros serving in the first term under this Constitution will be three years. Members who fall into this category will be determined in accordance with the law.
Article 103. Ministers of State, members of the Houses of Representatives, active judges on the date of promulgation of this Constitution, and all civil servants, who occupy positions corresponding to those recognized by this Constitution, shall not automatically lose their positions due to the application of this Constitution unless specified by law. The moment successors are elected under the provisions of this Constitution, they must fulfill their mandates as provided by law.